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NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center - Center for Advanced Digestive Care

NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center - Center for Advanced Digestive Care

Non-Cancerous Stomach Conditions

Non-cancerous conditions we treat at the Center for Advanced Digestive Care include peptic ulcers, conditions caused by excessive production of gastric acid such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, and gastrointestinal bleeding. To treat Stomach Diseases, our physicians use a range of minimally invasive surgical and diagnostic procedures, as well as innovative medical interventions.

Stomach and Duodenal Ulcers (Peptic Ulcers)

An ulcer is an open sore or lesion, usually found on the skin or mucous membrane areas of the body. An ulcer in the lining of the stomach or duodenum (upper small intestine), where hydrochloric acid and pepsin are present, is referred to as a peptic ulcer. When the ulcer is in the stomach, it is called a gastric ulcer.

It is believed that lifestyle, as well as acid and pepsin play a role in ulcer development. However, research shows that 90 percent of duodenal ulcers develop as a result of infection with a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). The bacterium produces substances that weaken the stomach's protective mucus and make it more susceptible to the damaging effects of acid and pepsin.

For more information on Helicobacter pylori and Stomach and Duodenal Ulcers (Peptic Ulcers) including symptoms and risk factors, visit our Health Library.

Diagnosis of Peptic Ulcers

Because treatment protocols may be different for different types of ulcers, it is important to adequately diagnose peptic ulcer disease and H. pylori before starting treatment. Diagnostic procedures for diagnosing ulcers and for testing for the H. pylori bacterium include:

  • Upper GI series (Also called barium swallow)
  • esophagogastroduodenoscopy
  • blood, breath, and stomach tissue tests

Treatment for Peptic Ulcers

An infection with H. pylori is usually discovered in patients with peptic ulcer disease. Treating the infection with a combination of antibiotics is first-line therapy for treating a peptic ulcer. But many other therapies are also used:

  • Lifestyle Changes - such as quitting smoking
  • Medications - including H2 Blockers, Acid Pump Inhibitors, Mucosal Protetctive agents and antibiotics
  • Surgery - for patients who do not respond to medication, or who develop complications
  • Endoscope - assisted laparoscopy provides patients with benefits of shorter hospitalization and quicker return to normal function